Friday 20 October 2017

Peterborough unites against fascist EDL


What remains of the English Defence League will attempt to rally and march in Peterborough, tomorrow, Saturday, October 21st. The EDL are again supposedly aiming to focus attention on ‘Muslim, grooming gangs’, the reality is that they care nothing for the victims of abuse and are concerned only with fermenting, anti Muslim, hate.


Local MP Fiona Onasanya will join the counter protest against the EDL, as part of the Peterborough Trades Union Council (PTUC)’s demonstration against the fascists. Unite Against Fascism (UAF) are supporting the local TUC’s efforts.


Ron Graves, PTUC President, said: “Peterborough Trades Union Council stands for the unity of all working people and we will not stand idly by while groups like the EDL try to divide us on grounds of religion, ethnicity, or anything else.”


Richard, a local UAF activist, said “Wherever they’ve turned up, the EDL have been met by large, vibrant and diverse demonstrations that have led to their numbers dwindling and their morale plummeting. “However there is no room for complacency and by holding a broad, diverse, vibrant and large counter demonstration in Peterborough city centre, we hope to be able to continue and hasten their demise.”


Following the failed demonstration by the EDL in Essex, last month, less than 100 are expected to attend the rump of the EDL’s gathering. The group has been steadily ground down in a battle of attrition by anti fascists. UAF has been proud to have played a central role, alongside many others, in reducing the EDL to a hollow shell of it’s former self.


Anti fascists will remember the height of the EDL in 2010/2011, when EDL marches could see around 3500 parade their Islamophobia and drunken violence in towns like Dudley, Leicester and South Yorkshire. The EDL never recovered from their defeats at the hands of anti fascists and local communities in places such as Walthamstow and Tower Hamlets in 2012 and 2013.


Many of the EDL followed their leader, Tommy Robinson,  out of the hate group, from 2013, onwards. Demonstrations and marches dwindled and in Walsall, in September, 2012, EDL members rioted. This led subsequently to around 50 of the EDL being jailed for a variety of offences. The back of the EDL was broken in the Midlands, from then on.


More recently, many have dropped out, demoralised by constantly being outnumbered and humilated by anti fascists, notably in Liverpool, this summer. Over 1000 anti fascists stopped the EDL from marching in the city centre. They had to turn around and were marched out of the city, guarded by police.


Ian Crossland and Alan Spence, who run the EDL, known fascists and thugs, couldn’t but be embittered following this latest debacle.  The resulting fall out, internally, only accelerated the EDL’s declines and emboldened anti fascists. Many in the group tag along with various, tiny, fascist splinter groups, or more recently, have been on the Football Lad’s Alliance, marches in London.


Trades unionists and anti fascists have been busy leafleting Peterborough and hope  once again to see off the EDL, as they did, in 2010. The EDL are collapsing before our eyes, we wish PTUC and anti fascists success tomorrow.

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